R 182104Z NOV 20 MID200000393067U
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC
PASS TO OFFICE CODES:
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1//
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1
MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/N1/NOV//
SUBJ/PHYSICAL READINESS PROGRAM POLICY CHANGES CY2021 CYCLE, PLANK AND ROWER
REF/A/MSG/CNO WASHINGTON DC/071628ZJUL20//
REF/B/MSG/CNO WASHINGTON DC/051654ZSEP17//
AMPN/REF A IS NAVADMIN 193/20, PHYSICAL READINESS PROGRAM POLICY UPDATE FOR
PHYSICAL FITNESS ASSESSMENT CYCLE TWO 2020 DUE TO COVID-19 MITIGATION.
REF B IS NAVADMIN 141/17, PHYSICAL READINESS PROGRAM POLICY CHANGES.
REF C IS OPNAVINST 6110.1J, PHYSICAL READINESS PROGRAM.//
RMKS/1. This NAVADMIN provides policy updates to references (a) through (c):
a. Calendar Year 2021 Physical Readiness Program. In order to continue
to mitigate COVID-19 impacts to the fleet, Navy will conduct one Physical
Fitness Assessment (PFA) cycle in calendar year 2021 from 15 March to 15
September 2021, dependent upon local conditions and operational requirements.
Shifting the PFA cycle to March allows Navy to execute the PFA after the
primary influenza season, while leveraging outdoor venues as the weather
warms for the conduct of the test.
(1) Echelon II Commanders may waive the PFA cycle 2021 requirements
if COVID-19 conditions prevent commanders from executing safely.
(a) This authority may be delegated no lower than first flag
officer in the chain of command.
(b) The *DEP/OP* non-participation reason shall be used when
COVID-19 conditions prohibit participation in the physical readiness test
(PRT) and body composition assessment (BCA) per enclosure (1), paragraph 2 of
(c) Conducting the BCA is strongly encouraged.
(2) Validation. Local conditions permitting, all Sailors must
participate in PFA cycle 2021 (i.e., the excellent or above validation from
the previous cycle does not apply). Service Members who meet the criteria
for *Validation* in PFA cycle 2021 as outlined in reference (b) will be
exempt from participation in PFA cycle one 2022.
(3) A new Physical Readiness Program (PRP) Guide 15, Conduct of the
Physical Fitness Assessment in COVID-19 Conditions, is available on the
Physical Readiness Program Website
npc/support/21st_Century_Sailor/physical/Pages/Guides.aspx) and will be
updated as Centers for Disease Control recommendations change.
b. Group Physical Fitness Training. Effective immediately, based upon
local conditions, Echelon II commanders may authorize group physical training
(command, department, division physical training, Fitness Enhancement Program
and spot check BCAs). They may delegate this authority to the first flag
officer in the chain of command.
c. Command Fitness Leader (CFL) Certification. While Commander, Navy
Installations Command has resumed teaching the CFL Course, current CFL
certifications are extended until 30 September 2021 due to limited course
availability. Commanders may designate former CFLs who were initially
certified after 1 January 2016, to act as CFLs until 30 September 2021.
d. Means to Regain Eligibility from PFA Failures. Since Navy is only
conducting one PFA cycle during 2021, all Sailors with PFA failures,
including those with two or more consecutive PFA failures, may regain
eligibility for advancement or retention by passing a mock or official PFA.
e. Fitness Modalities. New fitness modalities are implemented to
improve the physical readiness of Sailors in alignment with the Culture of
(1) PFA cycle 2021 will incorporate the forearm plank and 2000-meter
(2) Service Members who do not meet the minimum passing score for
the forearm plank modality will not receive a *fail* for the 2021 cycle PRT
only. However, Service Members must still pass the BCA, the push-up and
cardio modalities of the PRT. Failure to do so will result in a *fail* for
PFA cycle 2021.
2. A study conducted by Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) developed the
initial forearm plank and 2000-meter row PRT performance standards, which are
available in PRP Guides 5 and 10.
3. The forearm plank will replace curl-ups as the abdominal muscular
a. NHRC determined that the forearm plank is a better test of core
strength and abdominal muscular endurance. The repeated spinal flexion
movement of the curl-up is not operationally relevant, may aggravate lower-
back injuries and does not appropriately challenge the abdominal musculature.
b. The forearm plank incorporates an isometric contraction that
activates the abdominal and trunk muscles mimicking the main function of the
abdominal musculature by acting as stabilizers for the spine.
c. The forearm plank is a functional exercise required in 85 percent of
shipboard tasks involving pushing, pulling, lifting and carrying. Training
for the forearm plank will strengthen the core, improve posture and reduce
the risk of sustaining lower-back injuries throughout the career of a Sailor.
4. The 2000-meter row on the Concept-2 Rower will serve as another
alternate-cardio option in addition to the 12-minute stationary bike, 500-
yard/450-meter swim and 1.5-mile treadmill run.
a. The 2000-meter row is a non-weight bearing, low-impact exercise,
which reduces impact on the legs. More importantly, rowing provides a full-
body cardio workout engaging 80 percent of the musculature of the body.
b. Similar to the stationary bike, the Concept-2 Rower is space saving
and can be used on any naval vessel or installation.
c. Unlike the plank, the 2000-meter row is an alternative and therefore
a failing grade will be marked as a failure.
5. In line with reference (c) and PRP Guides, Service Members medically
cleared for the Navy PFA will participate in the BCA and PRT.
a. The new PRT event sequence will be as follows:
(2) forearm plank
(3) cardio or alternate cardio
b. Unlike the curl-up event, both push-ups and the forearm plank
exercise require overlapping and similar muscle groups.
(1) During the study to develop the new forearm plank standards,
push-ups were conducted first and the forearm plank was conducted second.
(2) This sequence of events permits maximal performance on the push-
ups and the forearm plank accounting for any residual fatigue from push-up
6. Proper procedures for conducting the forearm plank:
a. There will be no more than eight Sailors to one CFL or Assistant
Command Fitness Leader (ACFL) when performing the forearm
plank. Additionally, each Sailor performing the forearm plank will
have a partner who will monitor the Service Member for proper form.
[Note: Recruit and Officer Training Commands have the authority to determine
the correct monitor to recruit/candidate ratio that most effectively ensures
the integrity of the event given the number of recruits/candidates
participating and the instructor staff available.]
b. CFL/ACFL will record time with a stopwatch to the nearest second and
will announce the start, as well as 15-second intervals.
Cellphone stopwatches are prohibited to prevent user error.
c. The forearm plank will be performed on a flat, level surface.
Blankets, mats or other suitable padding may be used.
However, the Service Member must be entirely on or off the padding (i.e.,
upper body of the Service Member cannot be on the padding with feet off).
The event will consist of maintaining a proper forearm plank position for the
maximum time allowed.
d. Service Member will begin face down on the deck with elbows bent,
forearms flat on deck and the body in a straight line through the head,
shoulders, back, buttocks and legs.
e. Elbows must be aligned directly below the shoulders at a 90- degree
angle between the forearm and upper arm. Hands will either be in fists with
the pinky side of the hand touching the deck or lying flat with palms
touching the deck. Forearms may be parallel or angled inward, but the hands
cannot be clasped together.
f. Feet should be placed hip-width apart. Hips must be lifted off the
deck with only the forearms, hands and toes on the deck.
g. Knees are straight, pelvis in a neutral position and back flat. The
back, buttocks and legs must remain straight from head to heels and must
remain so throughout the test.
h. The head and neck should be kept neutral (face looking straight down
at the deck) throughout the duration of the test so that the body remains
straight from the head to the heels.
i. Toes, forearms and fists or palms must remain in contact with the
deck at all times. No part of the body of the Service Member may contact a
vertical support surface.
j. Involuntary muscle spasms (e.g., shaking, trembling or quivering)
resulting from maximum exertion during the exercise is anticipated and
permitted as long as the proper forearm plank position is maintained.
k. Forearm plank event ends when:
(1) Maximum time for the forearm plank has elapsed or until the last
participant stops prior to the maximum time allowed.
(2) Any part of the body other than hands/fists, forearms or feet
touch the deck.
(3) Service Member lowers head to hands.
(4) Service Member lifts hands, forearms or feet off the deck.
(5) Service Member does not maintain 90 degrees at the elbow (i.e.,
Service Member shifts weight forward or back on forearms/toes decreasing or
increasing the 90-degree bend).
(6) Service Member receives more than two corrections on form. On
the third correction on form, the CFL/ACFL will stop the Service Member and
record the time. This will be the official forearm plank time (score) of the
7. Proper procedures for conducting the 2000-meter alternate cardio row on
approved Concept-2 Rowers (Models D and E only):
a. Personnel who intend to use the rower for the PRT are required to
train and familiarize themselves on the approved Concept-2 rower, as
identified in PRP Guide 10, to ensure they are meeting their goals.
b. This event is a timed 2000-meter row. The CFL/ACFL must conduct the
rowing test as follows:
(1) Obtain authorization for alternate cardio options from the
Commanding Officer/Officer-In-Charge for the current PFA cycle.
(2) Practice safety, setup, start, stop and test procedures on each
individual machine prior to conducting any official test.
(3) Ensure the Service Member has practiced on the Concept-2 rower
machine used for the test and is familiar with all safety requirements.
(4) Instruct Service Member to set damper setting of their choice on
the flywheel. Service Member will not be able to adjust the damper setting
while conducting the test.
(5) Instruct Service Member to sit on rower machine.
(a) Adjust the footplate placements and secure feet using
adjustable straps. The foot straps should be secured at the widest portion
of the foot to permit freedom of movement of the heel during rowing.
(b) The Service Member should grasp the handle with both hands
and place along the outer edge of the handle. Once the Service Member begins
pulling on the handle, he or she should remain in constant and continuous
motion (to prevent inadvertent monitor cut-off, which would result in a test
graded as a failure) until the 2000-meter test is complete.
(6) The CFL/ACFL will program the rowing machine performance monitor
with the following items:
(a) From the main menu of the performance monitor, press the
*Select Workout* button.
(b) Press the *Standard List* button and then select
(c) Press Change Display until the top line shows
*2000m|0 s/m*, the third line will show the overall elapsed time
(00:00) and the bottom line will show the projected finish time.
(7) The event begins when the CFL/ACFL gives the command *Start*.
Time starts automatically on the rowing performance monitor display when the
member starts rowing. The rowing distance display counts down from *2000 m*
to *0 m*.
(8) Once Service Member reaches *0 m*, the CFL/ACFL announces and
records elapsed time from performance monitor rounding the time to the
nearest whole second (0.4 and lower, round down; 0.5 and higher, round up).
(9) The Service Member begins the test by pressing with their legs
and moving entire body away from the performance monitor.
(10) The rower event ends when the participant:
(a) Completes 2000-meters.
(b) Stops rowing for a period long enough that the monitor turns
(11) If Service Member does not complete the rower portion of the
PRT, other than for injury, the time will be recorded as
59:59 and scored as failed. In the event the Service Member would like to
participate in the Bad Day PRT, Service Member must be cleared by medical
prior to CO approval.
8. To assist CFL/ACFLs and members participating in the Navy PFA, the new
standards, tutorial videos, PRP Guides and other training resources are
available on the Navy Physical Readiness Program website
a. Videos which demonstrate the proper form and testing procedures for
the forearm plank and 2000-meter row for Service Members and CFLs/ACFLs will
also be available on the Navy Physical Readiness Program website.
b. Service Members can prepare for the new PRT events by regularly
participating in a well-rounded physical fitness routine outlined in
reference (a). The Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling System (NOFFS)
provides the Navy with physical fitness and nutrition information for Sailors
allowing the Navy to maintain peak physical readiness and reduce injury risk.
NOFFS workouts can be accessed via four mobile applications (NOFFS-
Operational, Strength, Endurance and Sandbag) which can be downloaded for
free using your smartphone app store. Within the NOFFS platform, planks are
referred to as *pillar bridges.*
9. Commander, Naval Service Training Command may delegate authority to unit
commanders to decide exactly when to switch to the new PRT based on their
10. For additional information, contact the Physical Readiness Program at
(901) 874-2210/DSN 822 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
11. This NAVADMIN will remain in effect until superseded or canceled,
whichever occurs first.
12. Released by Vice Admiral John B. Nowell, Jr, N1.//